Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Heart of the Matter

When we committed to adopting Lily we knew she had a heart defect. When we got to Ukraine we hoped to learn exactly what, but they didn't have a specific diagnosis. It didn't matter to us as far as the adoption goes; we would have taken her no matter what.

We were able to see a pediatric cardiologist this week to get a confirmed diagnosis via ultrasound. Her condition is more serious than we had originally thought.

Lily was born with a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). Both of these are holes between the left and right chambers of the heart. Her VSD is very large: 12mm in diameter. Usually an infant born with these conditions has surgery to repair the holes before six months of age. Lily did not receive that surgery in Ukraine.

Without the surgery, the blood pressure in her left and right ventricles is about the same. One side pumps blood to the lungs and the other side pumps blood to the rest of the body. What this means is that the blood vessels in her lungs are getting about three times the amount of pressure they should get. Over time, the blood vessels in the lungs may thicken to compensate for the increased pressure. Lily will have a heart catheter surgery to see if this is the case.

If her blood vessels have not thickened too much, then surgery is possible to close the holes and she will have a normal life expectancy. If her blood vessels are too thick, then closing the holes would actually do more damage because the lungs would not get the amount of blood pressure they are used to, resulting in heart failure. In this case the holes will not be repaired and her life expectancy is reduced to about 20 or 30 years.

Our next steps: We are waiting for a call from the hospital at UVA to schedule her heart catheter surgery. After that we will know more.

How you can pray: That God's will would be done in her life. We will love her as long as she lives, however long that is. Of course right now we are asking God to keep her blood vessels at their normal size so that surgery is possible.

One more thing.

Lily is not the only orphan waiting for heart surgery. Please, PLEASE consider donating to Vanessa and Lilly's adoption grants so they can find their forever family. Maybe you are reading this and feel God moving in your heart to consider adopting one of these girls. I will help them in any way that I can.

How can you not love that sweet face and big blue eyes???
Right now she has $4,660 in her grant fund!

Right now Lilly has $2,042 in her grant fund.


Stephanie @ Ralphcrew said...

Oh, I'm sorry you got such tough news. Pulmonary hypertension just sucks.

CareBear said...

Praying for sweet Lily.

Karien Prinlsoo said...

I sure hope and pray that Lilly can have the surgery. My son, Kallen , had a VSD of the same size. His was closed at 11 months. His recovery took some time, but he had a lot more energy after that. He developed with leaps and bounds. Blessings to you

PJH said...

We will be praying for you all and Lily! I want to tell you a quick story as well...My husbands grandfather had heart issues as a child and was told he would only live into his 20's. He is now 85 and just survived open heart surgery on Tuesday. He is in recovery and doing awesome...almost back to normal in only a few days. He is a miracle and so is Lily!

Ben and Melanie said...

We are Praying... I can only Imagine how this news is hitting ya`ll... What a beautiful child!

Grace said...

I just found your blog via the RR page. Vanessa is so beautiful! My husband and I are in the process of adoption right now.